PRK Eye Surgery in San Francisco

PRK Eye Surgery

Photorefractive Keratotomy (PRK) was the first excimer laser refractive procedure developed and has been continuously practiced with excellent results since 1995. While it was extremely popular at the time of its development, it has been largely outpaced by LASIK as the refractive surgery of choice because of the rapid visual rehabilitation and increased comfort levels afforded by the LASIK procedure.

PRK is similar to LASIK except that the excimer laser beams are delivered directly to the surface of the eye rather than under a flap. For this reason there is a period of discomfort until the epithelial (skin) surface of the eye regenerates. This usually takes between 3 to 5 days. Best vision is also not experienced for 1 to 4 weeks, or longer after PRK. In the long run, however, visual outcome is usually just as good as for patients having LASIK.

PRK remains the treatment of choice for patients who have thin corneas, high refractive errors, extremely dry eyes, or for military personnel and athletes who may be at risk for flap dislocations. PRK treatments have also been approved with wavefront-guided software and thus are equally capable of treating individuals with the latest in vision correcting technology.

Some of the risks of PRK include corneal haze, which may take up to a year to disappear; infection, which can be vision threatening if not properly treated; and over- and under-correction, which may require further enhancement with the Laser.

PRK Costs

Our practice is founded on the principles of service, quality and experience. While some Laser Vision Correction providers may offer highly discounted rates, many do not include the comprehensive, personalized service found at our practice. We do charge a $50 consultation fee due to the time-intensive nature of the visit and the diagnostic tests we routinely run to make sure you are a good candidate. However, if you choose to have surgery, we will apply that fee towards the total cost of the procedure.  Our fees include not only the cost of the procedure, but all post-operative visits, a post-operative kit, and any potential re-operations within 1 year. Your eyesight is precious and deserves the best care possible!  

We strive to be upfront with our fees for patients who are seriously considering laser vision correction.

  • Conventional PRK:  $4000 for both eyes
  • All-laser Wavefront-Guided (or "Custom") PRK:  $4800 for both eyes

Compare this to what you would spend each year on glasses/contacts, and you can see why we think it's a great investment.

  • Glasses/contacts:  $500/year, or $10,000 over 20 years

Insurance plans do not usually cover the cost of LASIK or PRK.  However, we offer CareCredit, a credit card program that offers interest-free financing for up to 12 months for any eye-related medical procedures. We also accept Flexible spending account (FSA) and health spending account (HSA) plans to help you pay for the procedure.